Release date: September 1st 2008
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 193519223X (ISBN13: 9781935192237)
Title: Cut & Run
Series Cut And Run #1
Characters: Ty Grady, Zane Garrett
Setting: New York (United States)
Copy read from my personal e-library
Summary from Goodreads:
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again — this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.
For a very long time now I’ve been hearing good stuff about the Cut And Run series by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban. While I purchased the first three books at a fictionwise sale perhaps as long as one and a half years ago, it is only now that I started to read the first book in this series. I really had no expectation going in to Cut And Run but it turned out the story elements pulled me in to two directions.
The first hundred pages I had no idea what to think. The opening contained a grabbing angle with a perpetrator doing its worst. But after that the suspense fell flat for me and instead I got to meet the two FBI agents whom kept me invested in reading. The flow of the story was working against me and it wasn’t the rapidly altering point of views that was the cause. The story was either pulling me in with the lure of these two amazing men or it was throwing me out with the suspense. The second hundred pages I got action scenes on steroids, a deeper insight in who Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are with a few unraveling clues on the case. I still felt the push and pull and I already had a big hunch on the identity of the perpetrator. Then the third hundred pages the case was falling flat again for me with an ending that was good but couldn’t deliver the chills, thrills and gasps of surprise.
I feel an aggravation for not being able to adequately explain why the plot elements didn’t mesh for me. I mean, overall speaking the plot was nice, the action certainly over the top but with the macho attitudes of Ty and Zane it worked and in the end the serial killer was revealed. It was just too much hotel room for me, which makes time for incredible character and emotional development but didn’t add suspense to the plot. Then you get a few moments of investigating clues and either Ty or Zane end up hurt so it’s back to the hotel room again. I didn’t feel involved in the case, in the in-depth thought process of Ty or Zane in agent mode or even the serial killer wreaking havoc.
What drew me into Cut And Run you might ask? Why did I keep reading on? Well, Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban created Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. Two men whom mesmerized me, aggravated me, baffled me and I just couldn’t resist them. Ty Grady; 6 ft 3" tall is a potent male, chaotic with no people skills, impulsive, with a wry sense of humor and I loved him on the spot. Then there’s Zane Garrett 6 ft 5" tall athletic body, analytical, has lots of issues, smart and talk about polar personality traits. At first he is a straight-laced agent, abiding by every rule in the book which unravels gradually and I got to see a total different side of Zane. I inhaled their interaction, both verbal as physical. It’s a clash of testosterone with moments of utter devastating emotions. Ty has the bad-boy image yet hides a good heart and turns out to be so very likable. Zane’s development however caught me off guard. He’s complex, intensely flawed and so messed up inside I just had to fall for him.
I have to say they get under each other’s skin easily and the attraction feels very real, the sex is awesome and the intimacy issues add layered problems to unravel. Not every personal problem gets fixed by the end of Cut And Run but this whole series is about them so I expect a continuation of their relationship progress in further stories. This is an epic gay couple whom I enclosed in my heart. I hope the suspense will work for me in the other stories but for Ty and Zane alone I will read it. Their interaction is phenomenal and I have a boat load of quotes to give you a taste.
“Listen up, ’cause I'm only gonna say this once,” Ty muttered as they walked to their gate. “I don’t talk when I fly. I sleep. And I don’t listen when I eat, understand? I don’t wanna be buddies. I don’t wanna chat,” he said with a sarcastic lilt to the word. “I don’t wanna know about your childhood or how your momma whipped you with a rubber glove or how much therapy you had to go through ’cause you flunked out of preschool. I don’t wanna hear about how you want to be Director someday or how many collars you got chasin’ those Internet freaks or how proud you are of your bowel movements. I don’t wanna go shopping at Barney’s with you, and I’m not gonna help you pick out your ties to match your socks and, I swear to God, if you get me shot, I’ll kill you.”
Zane’s look was patently disbelieving. “I think you decide what a perfectly polite person would do and then do the absolute opposite. It’s like it’s your life’s goal to be the Antichrist.”
Ty stared at Zane incredulously for a moment and then looked away with a shake of his head.
“Perhaps you prefer Scooby Doo?” Henninger offered politely.
“More like the Dark Knight,” Zane muttered without thinking first.
Ty smirked and glanced over at the man. “Does that mean I can call you Robin from now on?” he asked with an amused glint in his eyes.
“That’s Boy Wonder to you,” Zane answered flatly, turning to look out the window as Morrison stared at them both.
Zane looked significantly up and down Ty’s barely covered body.
Ty looked down at himself and then back up at Zane with a sniff as he realized what Zane was blathering about. “I’m a lethal weapon, man,” he grunted.
Ty grabbed him and pulled him off the counter to kiss him again, forcing himself not to think about the consequences. If he thought about it, he’d cut and run—as far and as fast as he possibly could.
Ty banged his head back on the door and closed his eyes, huffing through his nose as he tried to regain some control. “I lied,” he groaned plaintively. “I didn’t wanna know.”
Zane couldn’t help but smile and snicker. “Too late, hotshot,” he said.
“Coming from you, that’s pretty much an endearment.”
Zane shook his head. “Are you feeling this, too?” he rasped. This insane, blown-away pleasure, the near impossible-to-assuage hunger, the ache deep inside, contrasted by short moments of tenderness that seemed so out of place. Zane certainly wasn’t sure where they came from, but oh, God …
Well, fine. They were just getting used to each other again, right? The insanely satisfying and addictive sex was just a bonus. Anything else he felt was shoved away as far as he could push it.
It didn’t even faze Zane. “You look like sex on legs to me. You’ll blend in, no problem.”
“I swear to God, if you try to put me in leather pants or some shit like that I’ll kill you,” Ty warned with a point of his finger at Zane.
It was a gloriously violent kiss that he poured all his anguish and anger into.
Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban on the www:
Abigail Roux website | Madeleine Urban website | Goodreads | Abigail Roux Twitter | Buy @ Dreamspinner Press